Seb Hayes thinks Huntingdon Town are good enough to see off AFC Mansfield on Wednesday when the Central Midlands League side visit Jubilee Park for the replay of their FA Vase second round tie.
Ben Seymour-Shove scored Huntingdon’s equaliser in Nottinghamshire on Saturday when the two teams drew 1-1 at the first attempt at the ground the one-season old club share with Forest Town. His goal came in the 25th minute, two minutes after Mansfield had taken the lead through Mark Carter, but the teams could not be separated for the remaining 55 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time. They will now both be in the hat for the third round draw on Monday.
“We were sloppy for the first 20 minutes,” said Hayes. “But then we got into the game and in the second half we were excellent.
“Mansfield were very aggressive and a physical side but we were faster and better. They were a quality side but very direct and we have more than enough to cope.”
Since Hayes took over as manager of the club, following Ricky Marheineke’s departure to become the assistant manager of Histon, Huntingdon have won four games and drawn one in the Premier Division of the United Counties League, and beat Thetford Town in the first round of the Vase. They are third in the race for the UCL title but it is becoming increasingly unlikely that anyone is going to catch Spalding United this season with the big-spending Lincolnshire club having won all 15 of their games so far. In second, Deeping Rangers look like they will be difficult to catch, too; they beat Newport Pagnell Town 8-3 yesterday.
Meanwhile, striker Jamie Graham has left Huntingdon and scored on his debut for fourth-placed Yaxley when they beat Silbely Rangers 3-0.
The 31-year-old sat down with Hayes last week and the pair decided he would be better off playing elsewhere after failing to make the starting 11 for recent Huntingdon games.
“We have had a change in shape and we have four forwards at the club. I couldn’t guarantee Jamie a starting place and he had the choice of Peterborough Northern Star or Yaxley.
“It was the right move for him to seek a new challenge. It was good to see he got a goal on his debut.”